3 Stocks Near 52-Week Lows Worth Buying


Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often do to the upside.

Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.

Solar per-plexus
In the words of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, "they get no respect." And by "they," I mean solar stocks, which have been Wall Street's punching bags over the past few months. European debt concerns are causing European governments to scale back and delay their solar projects, and this is wreaking havoc on forward estimates in the sector. In the past three months, earnings estimates have been crushed at LDK Solar (NYS: LDK) and Trina Solar (NYS: TSL) . But, to me, the most surprising valuation goes to JA Solar (NAS: JASO) .

JA Solar may ring a bell as one of my small caps to rule them all, and like the rest of the sector, it has seen estimates hit hard. Unlike the rest of the sector, JA isn't focused solely on tip-top margins, but instead has worked hard to line up its orders. While other solar manufacturers are struggling to find customers, JA Solar can relax, because its backlog is full. Valued at only 30% of book value and trading at less than four times forward guidance, I think JA Solar has been given a bad rap.

Black gold
Once again, to anyone who is crazy enough to bet against Big Oil, be my guest. Shares of CNOOC (NYS: CEO) have been on a steady decline of late as worries about a slowdown in growth in Asia and Europe are weighing on its share price. But are these worries warranted? Probably not.

CNOOC is a cash-generating cow. For starters, the company has grown revenue by a factor of 10 since 2001. Relative to U.S. giantsExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) and Chevron (NYS: CVX) , CNOOC's forward P/E and price-to-cash flow are quite similar, yet neither of these U.S. giants is anywhere near a 52-week low. Even if growth in Asia slows down and Europe continues to stymie the world with its economic policies, the demand for oil will still be there. This could be shaping into an incredible value.

Cement this opportunity
Every headline seems to assume that any stock going down has Greece, and Greece alone, to blame. I'm not going to buy into that thesis, but I am going to suggest looking further into CEMEX (NYS: CX) , which is going to be affected by Greece's woes considerably less than investors seem to think.

As I stated just a few weeks back, CEMEX, the world's third-largest cement producer, doesn't have an easy road ahead of it. But a low interest rate environment and subdued inflation figures could be the catalyst needed to rejuvenate its bottom line. Let's also not forget that a new jobs initiative to get more American workers back on the job could well restart calls for huge infrastructure projects, which would obviously be good news for the company. Valued at 31% of its book value, it makes for a very compelling buy.

Foolish roundup
Values come in all sizes -- big and small. Keep your eyes peeled for businesses that are struggling, but that have the financial capability to weather a global downturn. All three of the companies we looked at today seem poised to bounce sooner rather than later.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any company mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that's always on the lookout for a good deal.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.